A Serious Peace Strategy Emerges

By David Swanson

In 2006 we elected a Congress to end the occupation of Iraq. If we don’t hold that Congress to it, we will not have the power in 2008 to elect anyone for any stated purpose. Fulfillment of campaign promises will be entirely optional in 2009. Our last chance to hold the current Congress to its commitment is in the coming month of April, when the House takes up Bush’s request for another $102 billion of our grandchildren’s money.

All over the country, ordinary citizens are taking on the role of leaders – many of them for the first time – and are beginning to plan town hall meetings in their congressional districts to demand that their representatives oppose any more funding for the occupation. This is not an effort to leave troops without body armor, but to bring them home where they do not need it. We’ve had enough of nonsensical excuses, and we’re demanding action. We applaud the House of Representatives for (thus far) refusing to back telecom immunity, and we insist that it similarly refuse to back the occupation of Iraq.

To start planning an Iraq Town Hall in your district, follow the simple instructions at:

If your congress member has a town hall meeting planned already in April, we recommend taking your crowd there. If not, we recommend picking a Sunday in April, making your plans, inviting your representative, and holding the event with or without them. In some cases an empty chair with their name on it will serve as well as their presence.

Several large organizations are encouraging their members to take part in these events, and are offering their experts as speakers available on request to join you. Check out this lineup:

Co-sponsors and speakers: Progressive Democrats of America, Gold Star Families for Peace, Win Without War, AfterDowningStreet, FireDogLake, Hip Hop Caucus, Cities for Peace, Velvet Revolution, The Nation, The Backbone Campaign, Brad Blog, Clout on Air America, TrueMajority, Willie Nelson Peace Research, Voters for Peace, Code Pink, Democracy Cell Project, Veterans for Peace, Global Exchange.

Speakers: Iraq Veterans Against the War.

It will never be more important or easier to hold a successful event than right now:



Richard Greene’s show “Clout!” on Air America interviewed Democrats.com’s David Swanson about the Iraq Town Halls project and urged Air America listeners to take part. Here’s the audio:

Peter Rothberg of the Nation magazine has written about the Iraq Town Halls:

Progressive Democrats of America is helping to organize Iraq Town Halls and has just launched its Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign to bring our troops home from Iraq and use the savings to pass H.R. 676, Rep. John Conyers’ bill which guarantees comprehensive publicly-funded, privately-delivered health care for everyone in the U.S. Please sign their petition:

Win Without War is urging its members to take part in Iraq Town Halls and wants Rep. John Murtha, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, to provide funding only for the safe and timely redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq. Please sign their letter:

The Backbone Campaign is helping to promote Iraq Town Halls and has just created the Procession for the Future, a creative organizing tool with which to inspire, educate and train students, youth and concerned citizens to be more effective activists. The Procession for the Future is a touring parade, using high production value art and spectacle to animate our aspirations and deliver a compelling progressive vision for the country. A dozen giant puppets and floats portray a set of progressive policy priorities. Use this tool:

TrueMajority is asking its members to be part of Iraq Town Halls and is organizing against an attack on Iran at

Cities for Peace is also involved and is helping localities pass resolutions against an attack on Iran: http://tinyurl.com/2a3p6h

DontAttackIran.org has almost reach 120,000 signatures on a petition to Bush and Cheney opposing an attack on Iran, and 100,000 on a petition to members of the military urging them to refuse illegal orders to launch such an attack:

Voters for Peace is urging Congress to compel the testimony of Admiral Fallon, who reportedly resigned due to disputes with the White House over whether a military attack on Iran should be pursued:

Code Pink: Women for Peace is working with us on planning Iraq Town Halls around the country, while at the same time keeping up the pressure on Capitol Hill every day:

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) are available as speakers at Iraq Town Halls, and video of their Winter Soldier testimony is available as well and highly recommended:

Veterans for Peace has just published a letter to the peace movement:

BetrayUsReport.com returns for Petraeus Part II: You Can’t Get Fooled Again (Can You?)

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